White House: US Conducted 'Successful' Weekend Counterterrorism Strike in Afghanistan
21:14 GMT 01.08.2022 (Updated: 22:04 GMT 01.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziA Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of an explosion in front of the Kabul International Cricket Stadium, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 29, 2022.
© AP Photo / Ebrahim Noroozi
On Sunday, an explosion occurred in the Shirpur district of the Afghan capital Kabul as a result of a rocket hitting a residential building, but there were no injuries, according to a spokesman for the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The US military conducted a successful counter-terrorism operation against al-Qaeda* operatives in Afghanistan over the weekend. The operation did not cause any civilian casualties, the White House said on Monday.
A senior administration official reportedly told correspondents that it was the CIA who carried out a drone strike in Kabul over the weekend.
"Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties," the official said.
The Taliban* confirmed that the strike was carried out by an American drone on a residential building. In addition, the movement condemned the attack as a violation of the Doha Peace Agreement and detrimental to the development of cooperation.
The #Taliban Ministry of Interior admitted that a missile hit a house in the Sherpur area of the 10th district of Kabul this morning around 06:30.— Arash آرش (@aarash_afg) July 31, 2022
No group has yet claimed responsibility for this incident. pic.twitter.com/EuRIZfZ4DN
The Gaza-based Shehab news agency later reported that the purported jihadist leader Sheikh Bassam Al-Saadi, who was likely the intended target of the strike, was captured alive.
Meanwhile, as US President Joe Biden is expected to address the public later in the day on the huge success of killing a "significant al-Qaida target," rumors began to circulate that one of the victims of the strike was none other than the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
Politico also reported, citing its undisclosed sources, that it was indeed al-Zawahiri who was killed by a drone strike.
Last Friday, at least two people were killed and 12 others were hurt in a terrorist attack on a cricket game on Friday in Kabul. At the time, a source with the Afghanistan Cricket Board stated that the stadium explosion had resulted in at least seven fatalities.
31 July 2022, 03:45 GMT
The developments occur a week before the first anniversary of the US military's complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in the Taliban insurgency taking control of the nation after two decades of conflict with Western forces.
*terrorist organizations outlawed in Russia and many other states.